George Steinbrenner Passes

George Steinbrenner, perhaps the most famous owner in sports, passed away today. Since I have no personal anecdotes to share, we’ll simply stick to the numbers.

He was in his 37th year of owning the Yankees, having bought the team in 1973. In that time, his team won the American League pennant 11 times and the World Series seven times. During his reign, the Yankees won it all an average of once per five years.

Their record since Steinbrenner purchased the team: 3,364 wins, 2,583 losses. They won 56.6 percent of the games they played during his ownership.

Seventeen different people have managed the Yankees since 1973. Under Steinbrenner’s watch, the team changed managers 22 times, an average of once every season and a half.

Forbes estimates the Yankees worth in 2010 at $1.6 billion. The next highest estimate was the Red Sox at $870 million.

That will be the legacy Steinbrenner leaves – a lot of winning, a lot of managerial changes, and by far the most valuable franchise in sports. Hard to call it anything other than a success…

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Dave is a co-founder of and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

26 Responses to “George Steinbrenner Passes”

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  1. Phillies Red says:

    Forbes has the Dallas Cowboys valued at 1.65 billion.

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  2. Jake Squid says:

    He was in his 38th year of ownership. January 3rd, 2010 was the completion of his 37th year of ownership.

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  3. JohnF says:

    You seemed to have left out the part about George being suspended from baseball, not once, but twice. Howie Spira, anyone?

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    • bflaff says:

      I don’t think Dave was trying to offer anything resembling a comprehensive obit, but yes, Howie Spira was the tip of an unattractive iceberg.

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  4. NBarnes says:

    Every sports team and every city should have an owner as dedicated to winning and to the greatness of the franchise as Steinbrenner. Major league sports need more owners like him and fewer like Carl Pohlad and Jeffery Loria.

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    • Jamie says:

      Jeff Loria is still on Step 1 of the Steinbrenner Success Plan: fire manager every other year.

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    • DavidCEisen says:

      Every sports team needs to be located in a metropolitan area with a population of 20 million. Major league sports needs more NYC’s and fewer Minneapolis’s and Miami’s.

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      • bflaff says:

        Yes, how embarrassing for the Wilpons.

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      • Da Vero says:

        Teams don’t need to be in New York City or LA to spend enough money to compete. They probably can’t outspend the money, but the owners owe it to their fans to pay out enough money for teams that compete. If George had owned the Twins, it wouldn’t take a Joe Mauer type to finally get the team to keep a home town hero. Instead of looking at a franchise as just an investment for his money, George looked at the Yankees as an investment for his passion of winning. I think that’s something all teams could benefit from.

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      • Raf says:

        Don’t discount what he has done on the business side of the game. The deals with MSG and Adidas and the creation of the YES network helped a lot to make the organization what it is today.

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  5. >> 17 different people have managed the Yankees since 1973. Under Steinbrenner’s watch, the team changed managers 22 times, an average of once every season and a half.

    Since 1992, only three guys have managed the Yankees: Showalter, Torre, Girardi. The first half of the Steinbrenner regime was where all the action really was.

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  6. vivalapiazza says:

    Must have been Swisher’s performance last night

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  7. Matt Murton says:

    vivalapiazza made me lol =[

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  8. Sock Pride says:

    good riddance

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    • Disco says:

      thats a terrible thing to say

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      • Miles says:

        And yet not too uncommon. It makes sense, in a way, that some would show little compassion for a man who showed little of it for a time in his baseball operations. For many, his legacy lies in his early handlings of the Yankees and the heaps of praise he receives today for it. Having so many writers and general baseball people saying that he’s one of the greatest owners for doing thing that other owners supposedly won’t do (mainly spend money, even though it’s not like George lost money with the Yankees & not every owner has the luxuxry of an historically fanatic fan base) adds more fuel to the fire. A polarizing figure that, I feel, doesn’t deserve as much of the praise and criticism he receives in terms of his effect on baseball.

        His off-the-field contributions, however, can’t be overstated. They are so numerous and highlight the kind of person he was after taking a much less hands-on approach with the Yankees. Many people outside of New York have seen the effects of his philanthropy, whether they know it or not. I don’t know a fraction of the many causes and people he’s affected, but I occasionally play soccer in a stadium built from his donations. Those in Tampa see it even more, and the city has him to at least partially thank for having their own franchise, now.

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    • kbertling353 says:

      I’ll be sure to say “good riddance” when your time comes as well.

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    • Chris says:

      Who cares what the man did regarding his baseball operations. A man, who has a family, passed away. And by all accounts, he was a genuinely caring and giving person “in real life.” Get a clue, asshole.

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      • BlackOps says:

        People die every. single. day. Thousands of them. The fact that he gets a special post on fangraphs and other websites has everything to do with baseball and nothing to do with who he was as a person.

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  9. bflaff says:

    New York will build temples in his honor, and rightfully so.

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  10. Twenty-Seven says:

    This sums up the type of man The Boss was.

    RIP Mr. Steinbrenner

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  11. maqman says:

    Manchester United are worth more than the Dallas Cowboys or the Yankees, see Forbes. The Yankees and their fans were intolerable long before The Boss came along but he did add to their negativity.

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  12. Frank Costanza says:

    What the hell did you trade Jay Buhner for? He had 30 home runs and over 100 RBI’s last year. He’s got a rocket for an arm. You don’t know what the hell you’re doin’!

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